Twitter begins paying Andrew Tate, DC Draino for their contributions

LOS ANGELES — Twitter announced Thursday that it would begin sharing ad revenue with content creators on its platform for the first time. But the offer does not apply to all creators.

The first recipients appear to be a number of high-profile far-right influencers who tweeted before the announcement how much they have earned as part of the program. Ian Miles Cheong, Benny Johnson and Ashley St. Claire all claimed their earnings

“Wow. Elon Musk wasn’t kidding. Monetization is real,” tweeted an anonymous account called End Wokeness, with 1.4 million followers, accompanied by a screenshot showing earnings of over $10,400.

So far, the influencers who have publicly revealed that they are part of the program are prominent figures on the right. Andrew Tate, for example, who was recently released from prison on rape and human trafficking charges, posted that he had been paid over $20,000 by Twitter.

“This is a nice turnaround from being banned from Twitter 1.0 for almost 2 years to now getting paid to post Thank you @elonmusk,” tweeted far-right influencer Rogan O’Handley, known as DC Draino.

But not all prominent right-wing Twitter contributors appeared to be part of the program. When asked if she was part of the show, Chaya Raichik, the creator of @libsoftiktok, gave a direct answer, claiming that her relationship with Musk was blossoming. She did not respond to a question about whether she received payments under the program.

Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent to him on Twitter and at SpaceX, another company he owns.

“I think there are some conservative content creators who are unhappy,” said Kris Ruby, a conservative influencer and president of Ruby Media Group. “It doesn’t even work across the board. I don’t think the playing field is level.”

She said some on the right who were not included in the program, despite meeting all the criteria, vent in private. “Most conservatives don’t want to go up against Elon’s wrath and what happens when you criticize him,” she said. “We’ve seen that he doesn’t really use the terms of service equally across the board.”

Twitter claimed, in a blog post, that creators’ share of ad revenue will be based on a calculation of responses to their posts and monthly views. The program is only available in countries where Stripe, a payment platform, supports payments, and recipients must pay for Twitter Blue, the platform’s monthly subscription service, to be eligible.

Not all creators who want to make money will be able to. Creators applying to the program must pass “human assessment”, and there is currently no open application for those interested in joining.

Some non-political contributors expressed frustration with the lack of transparency from the company over the rollout of the program.

“My tweets have generated 100s of millions of impressions for Twitter every year,” Matt Navarra, a social media strategist who runs the tech-focused newsletter and community Geekout, Posted Thursday. “And I’ve been on the platform for 15+ years. It’s pretty lame that no payout comes my way. Twitter has never generated any revenue directly for all the content I’ve put into it.”

Former Twitter employees who worked on creator-focused products expressed skepticism about the rollout, with several calling it a PR stunt. A former Twitter executive who worked on creator partnerships, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation, said that “any kind of content monetization we’ve done in the past was based on a revenue model. This just feels pulled out of thin air for a certain subset of creators that he wanted to appease.”

The former Twitter boss also cast doubt on Twitter’s revamped metrics, including impressions. “The numbers are totally and completely false,” she said. “It’s all completely made up. It really feels like they’re arbitrarily writing checks to people they like, which is not a sustainable creative strategy.”

Latasha James, a full-time YouTube creator in Detroit, said Twitter is too volatile for content creators to invest a lot of time in. “As a creator, I look for monetization opportunities with brands and platforms that seem well-funded and stable.” she said. “Twitter has been the opposite of stable over the past year, so I’d definitely be wary of relying on their monetization program to make a living.”

Others agreed that even if Musk were to offer each creator a payout, the site’s right turn would prevent them from posting.

“He censors speech that he doesn’t like and amplifies speech that he does, and he chooses people that he wants to have a voice on the platform and silences others,” said Rathbone DeBuys, a musician and content creator in New Orleans who makes money on TikTok . “There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. He has arbitrarily decided that these are the people who will make money on the platform because these are [his] friends.”

“I try to honor my values ​​in my business, and I feel like the things Elon has done are not consistent with my values,” said Lu Levy, a YouTube content creator and digital business coach for content creators. “… I already get such good monetization on other platforms, especially YouTube, it’s just not worth going against what I believe in.”

The timing of Musk’s announcement comes on the heels of Twitter rival Instagram announcing that its Twitter-like app Threads had passed 100 million signups in less than a week, making it the fastest-growing app of all time. Jordan Lintz, owner of HighKey Enterprises, a PR firm, said he thinks Threads should take a cue from Twitter’s new monetization offering. “Threaded user retention is going to slip eventually,” Lintz said. “I think the best monetizer will win the container. That’s something Threads might have to look into.”

Jules Terpak, a content creator and digital culture expert, said that as someone who tweets a lot, the prospect of monetizing posts is appealing, but she’s watching to see how Musk will tackle tough issues like content theft and bots. She also wonders whether this new monetization scheme is sustainable, given Twitter’s struggle to retain ad revenue.

“As soon as I see these amounts, my first question is how this is going to be sustained,” she said. “The long record so far with Elon’s ownership is that many things sound very nice, then you see them in action and there are more negative nuances to it.”

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